Synthetic cannabinoids are a heterogenous group of novel, legally regulated psychoactive substances that can result in broad, multisystemic, dangerous effects. Despite growing literature regarding synthetic cannabinoid toxicity, little is known about the extent of these effects in young children. Caregivers of drug-endangered children may not provide an accurate history of exposure when children present with symptoms of intoxication, and lack of swift detection on routine urine drug screens may further obscure and delay the diagnosis. Clinical recognition carries forensic relevance that may support interventions to aid in protecting vulnerable children. We describe a case of near-fatal child maltreatment due to supervisory neglect resulting from ingestion of an increasingly common synthetic cannabinoid. Furthermore, we highlight clinical findings that should increase a physician’s index of suspicion for synthetic cannabinoid toxicity, even in the absence of a history of exposure.
In spring 2020, a novel hyperinflammatory process associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) was described. The long-term impact remains unknown. We report longitudinal outcomes from a New York interdisciplinary follow-up program.METHODS
All children <21 years of age, admitted to NewYork-Presbyterian with MIS-C in 2020, were included. Children were followed at 1 to 4 weeks, 1 to 4 months, and 4 to 9 months postdischarge.RESULTS
In total, 45 children were admitted with MIS-C. The median time to last follow-up was 5.8 months (interquartile range 1.3–6.7). Of those admitted, 76% required intensive care and 64% required vasopressors and/or inotropes. On admission, patients exhibited significant nonspecific inflammation, generalized lymphopenia, and thrombocytopenia. Soluble interleukin (IL) IL-2R, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17, IL-18, and C-X-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 9 were elevated. A total of 80% (n = 36) had at least mild and 44% (n = 20) had moderate-severe echocardiographic abnormalities including coronary abnormalities (9% had a z score of 2–2.5; 7% had a z score > 2.5). Whereas most inflammatory markers normalized by 1 to 4 weeks, 32% (n = 11 of 34) exhibited persistent lymphocytosis, with increased double-negative T cells in 96% of assessed patients (n = 23 of 24). By 1 to 4 weeks, only 18% (n = 7 of 39) had mild echocardiographic findings; all had normal coronaries. At 1 to 4 months, the proportion of double-negative T cells remained elevated in 92% (median 9%). At 4 to 9 months, only 1 child had persistent mild dysfunction. One had mild mitral and/or tricuspid regurgitation.CONCLUSIONS
Although the majority of children with MIS-C present critically ill, most inflammatory and cardiac manifestations in our cohort resolved rapidly.
Compare lifetime earning potential between academic pediatric and adult medicine generalists and subspecialists. Evaluate the effect of decreasing the length of training for pediatric subspecialties whose length of training is longer than that for the adult medicine counterpart.METHODS
Using compensation and debt data from national physician surveys for 2019–2020, we estimated and compared the lifetime earning potential for academic pediatric and adult physicians.RESULTS
Lifetime earning potential was higher for adult physicians than for pediatric physicians across all comparable areas of both general and subspecialty academic practice. The lifetime earning potentials for adult physicians averaged 25% more, or $1.2 million higher, than those of the corresponding pediatric physicians. These differences predominantly were not attributable to unequal training length: when we modeled a shortened length of training for pediatric subspecialists, lifetime earning potential for adult subspecialists still averaged 19% more than that for pediatric subspecialists. For both pediatric and adult medicine, the primarily inpatient, procedure-oriented subspecialties had higher lifetime earning potential than the outpatient, less procedure-oriented subspecialties.CONCLUSIONS
Wide differences in lifetime earning potential between pediatric and adult physicians reflected lower compensation in pediatrics, rather than any differences in training length. Inpatient-based, more procedure-oriented subspecialties had higher lifetime earning potential than outpatient-based, less procedure-oriented subspecialties. Interventions that improve the lifetime earning potential of general pediatrics and the pediatric subspecialties, as well as the less procedure-oriented subspecialties across both pediatric and adult medicine, have the potential to impact both clinical practice and access to care.
During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many hospitals have added COVID-19–specific visitor restrictions to their routine visitor restrictions. These additional visitor restrictions are designed to reduce viral transmission, protect patients and staff, and conserve personal protective equipment. They typically exempt patients with disabilities and those who are dying. Consistent application of these policies may, however, be inequitable. We present the case of a single mother seeking an individual exemption to both a routine and a COVID-19 specific visitor restriction. One commentator focuses on the importance of clear and transparent processes for considering requests for exceptions. The other argues that disproportionate burdens may be mitigated in other ways and the policy maintained.
Nonpharmaceutical interventions against coronavirus disease 2019 likely have a role in decreasing viral acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs). We aimed to assess the frequency of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza ARIs before and during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.METHODS
This study was a prospective, multicenter, population-based ARI surveillance, including children seen in the emergency departments and inpatient settings in 7 US cities for ARI. Respiratory samples were collected and evaluated by molecular testing. Generalized linear mixed-effects models were used to evaluate the association between community mitigation and number of eligible and proportion of RSV and influenza cases.RESULTS
Overall, 45 759 children were eligible; 25 415 were enrolled and tested; 25% and 14% were RSV-positive and influenza-positive, respectively. In 2020, we noted a decrease in eligible and enrolled ARI subjects after community mitigation measures were introduced, with no RSV or influenza detection from April 5, 2020, to April 30, 2020. Compared with 2016–2019, there was an average of 10.6 fewer eligible ARI cases per week per site and 63.9% and 45.8% lower odds of patients testing positive for RSV and influenza, respectively, during the 2020 community mitigation period. In all sites except Seattle, the proportions of positive tests for RSV and influenza in the 2020 community mitigation period were lower than predicted.CONCLUSIONS
Between March and April 2020, rapid declines in ARI cases and the proportions of RSV and influenza in children were consistently noted across 7 US cities, which could be attributable to community mitigation measures against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
Drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death in children. In 2018, almost 900 US children younger than 20 years died of drowning. A number of strategies are available to prevent these tragedies. As educators and advocates, pediatricians can play an important role in prevention of drowning.
This guideline addresses the evaluation and management of well-appearing, term infants, 8 to 60 days of age, with fever ≥38.0°C. Exclusions are noted. After a commissioned evidence-based review by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an additional extensive and ongoing review of the literature, and supplemental data from published, peer-reviewed studies provided by active investigators, 21 key action statements were derived. For each key action statement, the quality of evidence and benefit-harm relationship were assessed and graded to determine the strength of recommendations. When appropriate, parents’ values and preferences should be incorporated as part of shared decision-making. For diagnostic testing, the committee has attempted to develop numbers needed to test, and for antimicrobial administration, the committee provided numbers needed to treat. Three algorithms summarize the recommendations for infants 8 to 21 days of age, 22 to 28 days of age, and 29 to 60 days of age. The recommendations in this guideline do not indicate an exclusive course of treatment or serve as a standard of medical care. Variations, taking into account individual circumstances, may be appropriate.